I heard an egregious rumour about the Abbotsford Education system recently. It is that Abbotsford schools and educators maintain an abstinence-only teaching policy. This essentially implies teachers in Abbotsford aren’t allowed to educate students with the necessary resources to maintain healthy sexual lifestyles.
Educators at my high schools in Nanaimo, itself a conservative community, were openly allowed to teach a full spectrum of sexual health options available to students. This included hosting members the LGBT community in classrooms. Their concern was less of a fear of being dismissed or fined for teaching sexual health. The concern was more allowing students to be educated on key preventive measures and healthy perspectives of their sexuality.
Trying to pretend the concepts of sex and sexuality don’t exist only causes problems. To a further extent pretending abstinence is the only viable way to prevent unwanted pregnancies, STIs, and harm behavior caused by repressing discussions on gender and orientation is naive and unfair. In the end it is students who live with the direct consequences of not being properly educated by trained health professionals. The only way to ensure students are aware of all the options available to them is by allowing educators to present a full spectrum of available sexual health resources.
I strongly suggest Abbotsford citizens recognize the inherent connection between harm reduction and the open provision of sexual health resources, and move to strike down abstinence-only education models.
Adam Roper, Abbotsford